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Sessler's Soapbox: Tali-Banned?

Posted: September 7, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Tali-Banned?
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/48528/sesslers-soapbox-tali-banned/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/250314_LGST/soapbox-9-7-10.jpg
Video_48528
Adam addresses the recent decision to not sell the new Medal of Honor game on US Army Bases.

Comments are Closed

  • sheacanbake

    I work for the Army on a base in Germany and the PX is really my only way of purchasing a game for my region 1 xbox (asside from ordering it online and waiting 1-6 weeks). I understand the hurt that a family member feels when they hear that the organization who murdered their son is playable in a game. But I also hear the hurt from my friends who are service members that have to face the same organization on a semi annual basis when they are not allowed the same rights as a 17 year old living in small town America. I don't understand why a few finding something offensive justifies suppressing the rights of many. Especially when the sale of this game is going to go on and the only people who are not allowed to buy it are by all means the people who have the most viable reason to play it. No fair I say.

    Posted: September 10, 2010 9:00 AM
  • Spork_of_Destiny

    Having been in the military the one thing that always irked me is how everyone outside the military like politician x, or citizen group y etc, always talks about situations like this as if the people in the military are kids. Its like two adults standing their arguing whats best for the kid and the kid is standing right there. I was 19 and turning wrenches on multimillion dollar attack helicopters I can't be that dumb.

    I remember playing Battlefield 1942 with the Desert Combat mod with a bunch of friends after work (and shortly after we got back from Iraq in 2003) and a bunch of us thought it was funny to play as the Iraqis. Mainly since all the Iraqi soldiers seemed to look like Saddam. But never during any of those battles did I get this pang inside and make me start to question what it was I was doing in the military.

    Sometimes its fun to play the bad guys. Whether its Nazis in the various WW2 games to stealing cars in Grand Theft Auto. It doesn't mean I will all of a sudden grow a desire to put on a red armband and start goose-stepping all over the place. It just allows you to act out rebellious desires in a way that wont land you in jail.

    Posted: September 10, 2010 2:01 AM
    Spork_of_Destiny
  • Kratier

    sorry but no, all the morons posting here are just so ignorant.

    1- MW + MW2 are fictional worlds and situations, real world militaries (and some fictional)
    2- MOH is a direct real world situation making light/making a GAME out of people who are dying out there.

    Im a veteran , and i have to say it could have been handled better. Like the way America's army handled playing as a terrorist. You were always army. You could never be a terrorist holding a gun killing US troops.

    If you are making a video game about it, you are automatically making light of the situation. Its like if your son/daughter died in a car accident, then someone made a video game about it, and the hundreds of way your child could have died are now an entertainment product for little children to enjoy.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 8:58 PM
    Kratier
  • ArrenKae

    hmmm....

    What value trumps the other? Patriotism vs. Leisure, reality vs. fantasy, etc.
    You could say the fantasy portrayal trivializes what's real. With a similar sentiment I was disinterested in the few 9/11 movies that came out b/c there didn't seem to be any need for a movie or anything interesting they had to say. Just a cash-in on sentiment. However, a game's different.
    A soldier should feel flattered that a gamer wants to be more like him, if only in the cowering safety of imagination. For the same reasons, a soldier's liable to feel insulted by the poor mimicry or question, why would an American company provide for people to play as our enemies?

    What prevails any claim to morality is how America's friend today is its' enemy tomorrow and vice-versa. It's like Oceania vs Eurasia. Americans hated Germans in WW1 and WW2 but most white Americans are German. America bombed Japan into rubble (I don't just mean the atomic bombs, 90-some % of Japanese cities had already been burned by firebombs) then rebuilt it. America empowered the Taliban and then crippled it. How can anyone take the values of the American government seriously? It kills one foreigner and feeds another, always to its' citizens detriment.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 8:23 PM
    ArrenKae
  • ArrenKae

    hmmm....

    What value trumps the other? Patriotism vs. Leisure, reality vs. fantasy, etc.
    You could say the fantasy portrayal trivializes what's real. With a similar sentiment I was disinterested in the few 9/11 movies that came out b/c there didn't seem to be any need for a movie or anything interesting they had to say. Just a cash-in on sentiment. However, a game's different.
    A soldier should feel flattered that a gamer wants to be more like him, if only in the cowering safety of imagination. For the same reasons, a soldier's liable to feel insulted by the poor mimicry or question, why would an American company provide for people to play as our enemies?

    What prevails any claim to morality is how America's friend today is its' enemy tomorrow and vice-versa. It's like Oceania vs Eurasia. Americans hated Germans in WW1 and WW2 but most white Americans are German. America bombed Japan into rubble (I don't just mean the atomic bombs, 90-some % of Japanese cities had already been burned by firebombs) then rebuilt it. America empowered the Taliban and then crippled it. How can anyone take the values of the American government seriously? It kills one foreigner and feeds another, always to its' citizens detriment.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 8:22 PM
    ArrenKae
  • power-o-pwn

    I didn't know you were jewish Sess.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 4:09 PM
    power-o-pwn
  • ZoMbIEx23x

    I don't think there was nearly as much noise about the airport level in MW2 than there is about this game and being able to play as the Taliban. You can play as the Opfor in MW and people don't freak out about it. Theres been worse games made and games just like this new Medal of Honor (MW) and I think that the main reason for this is because the name "taliban" is used. This was mentioned on feedback last week "if it had been balitan it would've been okay, but we still would know what they were talking about" (rough quote)I think some people, especially the ignorant ones may still be hanging on to 9/11, now the people who have lost loved ones to 9/11 and sons and daughters in the military who are fighting this war for us, those are the people who are understandable like Adam said. But I believe theres a point where you have to realize,"hey this is just a game" you can't go all gung ho on this stuff without really knowing anything about it and it's extremely pitiful that these news agencies are taking advantage of Video games in general like they have been. They don't play these games and obviously from things we've all seen, for example the news story that Darth referenced, they don't do any sort of research on the game. I understand why military bases wouldn't want thisgame on their gamestop shelves but it really was a wrong and ignorant choice I think but again, I do see why they would ban it. I didn't know that about your family Adam, sorry to hear that.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 3:52 PM
    ZoMbIEx23x
  • Nintraxas

    My best wishes to the mother that lost her son in the war and to you Adam for your family. I myself lost two friends over there and my family was affected by WW2 so I can see where she is coming from and yourself. Honestly if my Great Gramps did not leave Perl Harbor the night before the attack I might not be here today. Though one must remember that life does go on. I don't want to sound like I am telling people "Get over it", but in order to handle something that has affected you, its important to acknowledge that it happened. It is difficult I know, but is something some of us have to deal with.

    As for the game not being able to be sold in Gamestops on base. They are basically telling the troops they will have to buy it elsewhere if they want to play it. Even then, I am pretty sure most of our US forces over seas just want to blow some heads off some Taliban forces in the single player. If they wanted to do some multiplayer then they will most likely jump to MW2 or Halo.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 1:35 PM
    Nintraxas
  • djboogymonster78

    Does any one thing that EA might just be "stirring the the pot" to create drama, and then hiding behind "art" to avoid responsibility? Just something I've been thinking about. No matter which side of this argument you champion, it all seems a little convenient. This hot button topic comes out during a news slump even though the game has been in development for at least a year if not more.

    There is a saying that any press is good press. Hollywood lives off bad press, because you still have the minds of your audience, and by extension you sell more. I'm interested whether EA is just using hardcore fans to keep the drama burning to sell more copies or are they really so devoted to their "art" that they would stick to their guns, whether it cost them in sales or not. Just throwing that out there.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 10:16 AM
  • Makaiju

    I normally don't see the point in posting to threads that are randomly read/followed because rarely are ideas being presented used for any gain of understanding between people.

    However I find myself hard pressed to ignore this topic as it's so important and relevant to so many people I care about.

    Anyone looking at this issue should know there are three important ideas bring discussed here.

    1) Spreading ideas through media isn't a moral or social duty... it's a job. While Woodward and Bernstein might have glorified the idea of being a journalist to fight evil and injustice... that's not what the news media is all about. It's about selling information to people. If telling fairy tales or over opinionated ideas sells, that's what what the media is going to do. In turn anyone expecting to read about an issue and be 'educated' beyond any doubt of truth is just being lazy or stupid... or both. So if you local news is running incorrect stories, call them and tell them. Let them know their audience is not amused by their incomplete journalism.

    2) This is a military issue and not a civilian one... in turn everyone is thinking about this wrong. Excuse me for sounding genius enough to know what everyone else is thinking. Let me say this issue isn't the kind of Censorship that most people are saying it is in their posts. People serving in the Military are not 'free' to do whatever they want. They are not allowed to dress in whatever they want. (Despite that G.I. Joe cartoons/toys/comics have tried to teach us all over the years.) People in the military are not allowed to live any place they like (they live where they are posted), they are not allowed to cut their hair any random way (they have it cut per their departments regulations), and they are not allowed to voice their opinions if said opinions can be seen as derogatory against the military or US government. Example: Soldiers against the war were not allowed to say anything about their opinions during the elections. You are explained this when you enlist (not that most people listen) and if you serve, you know that some of your liberties will be in check until your enlistment is over. More importantly, the military didn't ban their members from playing the game or owning the game. All that was stated was that they military didn't want to have a game sold on their soil because they thought the game could in some cases offend or belittle the sacrifice and efforts of any of our service personnel currently or formally serving in the Middle East conflicts. (man that was a grammar wreck of a sentence.) If a soldier isn't offended, they can go off base and buy it. Someone who might be emotionally sensitive to a game that has people playing Taliban fighters killing US soldiers now won't accidentally see the game on the base store or unknowingly buy from the base a game that could subject them to something that could hurt their recovery. I.E. this is the military thinking of the military's best interests and that's important... needed... and is how things should be done.

    3) Censorship and freedom of speech/art/ideas are not the same thing. You have the right to think what you want and so do I and everyone else. You have the right to read what you want OR not read it. As a store owner I have the right to sell an item or not and I don't have to justify it to my customers. If they don't like that I decided not to stock a certain game, they can go some place else. If they want to hold that against me and not come to my place of business ever again, they have that right. None of that is censorship or denial of free speech. If a community says that it's banning the display of 'Pro MoH' & 'Anti MoH' signs in town square, that is censorship but not a blockage of freedom of speech. People with MoH opinions are FREE to find other places to talk about their view or find other ways to get their opinions out. In essence their freedom isn't being taken away. All that is happening is a community is saying "don't post your views in a place that people who don't care are forced to deal with your opinions" by censoring where opinions can be expressed.

    These basic ideas might be 'self evident' on paper but it's obvious that not everyone understands them. In that vain take the freedom to think about this stuff in more detail and grasp a better understanding of what our country was founded on and the principles our country fights to this day.

    Then forgive me for trying to write this all on a 10 minute break at work as I'm sure the typos and grammar errors are mind numbing. Sorry about that everyone.

    Posted: September 9, 2010 9:34 AM
    Makaiju
  • cheatham_usmc

    The military tries to contol every aspect of its mens lives it seems like sometimes. Its a videogame damnit! There was no controversy over the movie Brothers though was there. I bet that movie gets sold on bases worldwide and it depicts some horrible events. How about a mother of a captured soldier speak up huh. But a little video game sparks so much controversy. Im gonna buy it and Im gonna play the hell out of it, CAUSE ITS A GAME!

    Posted: September 9, 2010 6:29 AM
    cheatham_usmc
  • hafizlordfeast12

    I guess a Taliban can't be expressed in the game. You know this is some of the first game that let you play as the Taliban. Just give it a chance, it would probably give you some open minded about something than just playing as the U.S.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 8:35 PM
    hafizlordfeast12
  • hafizlordfeast12

    I guess the Taliban doesn't have a family, huh? Why don't they at least give Medal Of Honor a chance considering any soldier kill any side of the family wether you're an American or a Taliban.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 8:30 PM
    hafizlordfeast12
  • pigtails33

    very interesting

    Posted: September 8, 2010 7:36 PM
    pigtails33
  • BlueChaos

    Couldn't have said it better myself, right on Sessler.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 6:57 PM
    BlueChaos
  • San_Pato

    The military has a right to decide what is sold on its bases, much like if you owned a shop you get to chose what you sell in it. If they don't want to sell it to avoid bad PR, that is their choice. I don't agree with the decision to not allow it, but I don't see it as censorship. If I owned a game store and someone made a game that I thought was wrong, I wouldn't sell it either. It may be your right to make the game, but it's my right to not sell it. The government has the same rights on its property. They don't have to sell every product ever made on stores on its property, they have the right to chose too, as long as it doesn't go against any rule or law set by the people in D.C.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 5:46 PM
    San_Pato
  • Zzanzabar

    Adam, if ever the gaming community were to be an 'official' spokesperson, then that person should be you. Your grasp of the subtle things that go into gaming is amazing, and you sensitivity is what sets you apart. I totally agree with your position on this point and a also sympathize with those who do not like have the Taliban played as 'heroes' or the winning team. And I fully understand why the game was banned on military bases.

    Americans will make almost ANY subject into an entertainment or gaming experience; murder, rape, racism, sex, ANYTHING is gist for the gaming mill. But underlying it is all is the availability of CHOICE. It is this ability to be given the choice, that some other countries (not all totalitarian either) do not understand or refuse to give its citizens.

    The freedom of expression is the most difficult to swallow when it is YOUR group that is being served crow to eat. Just like you I have games I will never play because of personal perspective. Neither me, nor my kids play grand theft auto for personal reasons. And there are a handful games that are considered 'tasteless' and disturbing (such as Resident Evil 5) because of their imagery. Nonetheless I would never attempt to censor their availability.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 4:43 PM
    Zzanzabar
  • firefist

    Well, it's always good to know your enemy. Maybe after this, we have a slight understanding on what makes them tick. That's if they did their homework and the reason your playing as one doesn't become lost somewhere within the game. Still holding back for reviews for this one though.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 4:23 PM
    firefist
  • kujel

    Peter on your comments on WWII games I personally avoid them cause I dislike the propaganda they spread. They portray the allies a pure righteous force and the axis as a pure evil and malevolent force, which is too black and white.
    I don't disagree that it was wrong of the Nazis to put to death blacks, gypsies, and gays simply because Hitler and his inner circle didn't like them but most of the people under their command were not so cold. There is a famous psychology experiment (back in the 60 I think) where people where asked to shock a man for wrong answers, increasing the voltage until fatal (he was never actually shocked). It was found 68% of people will kill when commanded to by someone in authority. Now this doesn't excuse high-level officials or officers but many of the low-level soldiers and the people were simply caught up in the frenzy. The vast majority of films and video games about this era make no effort to show these people where not thinking for themselves (as many still do today) nor do they show what the allies did to German civilians (like the fire bombing of Dresden) .
    My point is too many games based on real world events not only take too narrow a perspective on these events they perpetuate the myth (to Americans anyway) they can do no wrong and that even stepping in the shoes of the other side for a few minutes is immoral. I don't agree with a lot of what the Taliban does/did (or Hamid Karzi for that matter either) but to paint them as pure evil is wrong. They do commit evil acts yes but not because they love hurting Westerners but because they believe doing so will help they're people in the long run. Threw out history people have done many evil and cruel things but very rarely do they realize what they are doing is evil. I'd like to see more games (and movies) show people at least some of the thought process behind these acts so then maybe they will realize none of these conflicts are a battle between good and evil but rather differing social/political/cultural perspectives and that victory is not a triumph over the bad guys but rather the loss of another perspective. The Taliban didn't attack the USA, they were attacked and they'll be damned if they wont fight to their last breath to defend their way of liffe.

    Posted: September 8, 2010 3:55 PM
    kujel
  • stamatt45

    Playing as the taliban is bad, but playing as Nazis (Who comitted GENOCIDE!) is ok? I love our country!

    Posted: September 8, 2010 3:28 PM
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